Centre for Internet & Society

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) welcomes you to the second issue of its newsletter (February) for the year 2014:


  • We published revised chapters for the states of Mizoram, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, as part of our National Resource Kit project.
  • In the concluding blog post of a three-part study Ananth Padmanabhan looks at the Indian law in the Copyright Act and the Information Technology Act, and concludes that both those laws restrain courts and private companies from ordering an ISP to block a website for copyright infringement.
  • Telugu Wikipedia celebrated its 10th anniversary. An event was co-organized in Vijaywada to celebrate the same.
  • The second Institute on Internet and Society was held in Pune from February 11 to 17. The proceedings from the workshop are captured in a blog post.
  • CIS announced an Open Call for Comments for the latest draft of the Privacy Bill, 2013 prepared by Bhairav Acharya.
  • Forbes India published its “30 Under 30 List”. Pranesh Prakash is featured in the list.
  • As part of the Making Change Project, Denisse Albornoz wrote a blog post that compares the production behind a performance with the process of storytelling.
  • Beli gives an introduction to spectrum sharing. The post looks at GSM and CDMA, and touches upon LTE, and how they might share spectrum.

CIS is seeking applications for the post of Program Officer (Access to Knowledge): http://bit.ly/1fnydB0. There are two vacancies for this post and it is full-time based in Delhi. To apply, please send your resume to Sunil Abraham ([email protected]), Nirmita Narasimhan ([email protected]) and Pranesh Prakash ([email protected]) with three writing samples of which at least one demonstrates your analytic skills, and one that shows your ability to simplify complex policy issues.

Accessibility and Inclusion
As part of our project (under a grant from the Hans Foundation) on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India, we bring you draft chapters for the states of Mizoram, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. With this we have completed compilation of draft chapters for 35 states.

Based upon discussion with the office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) the following chapters were revised:

► National Resource Kit Chapter

► Other

# Participation in Events

  • National Consultation on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Development Process (organized by CBM India in collaboration with United Nations Solution Exchange for Gender Community, WHO Regional office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, February 12, 2014). Anandhi Viswanathan participated in a panel discussion. She made a presentation on the National Resource Kit project: http://bit.ly/OlkHVq.
  • Zero Project Conference on Accessibility: Innovative Policies and Practices for Persons with Disabilities (organized by Essl Foundation, the World Future Council and the European Foundation Centre, United Nations Office, Vienna, February 27 and 28, 2014). Pranesh Prakash spoke on Affordable Text-to-Speech Software from India: http://bit.ly/1czo32s. Nominations on e-speak were recognised as examples of innovative practices and policies from India. Pranesh Prakash was also a speaker on Copyright Exception for Accessible Formats: http://bit.ly/1l8HRth.

Access to Knowledge
The Access to Knowledge programme addresses the harms caused to consumers and human rights, and critically examines Open Government Data, Open Access to Scholarly Literature, and Open Access to Law, Open Content, Open Standards, and Free/Libre/Open Source Software.

# Analyses

  • Can Judges Order ISPs to Block Websites for Copyright Infringement? (Part 2) (by Ananth Padmanabhan, February 5, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cddoKm. Analyses the law laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court on secondary and contributory copyright infringement.
  • Can Judges Order ISPs to Block Websites for Copyright Infringement? (Part 3) (by Ananth Padmanabhan, February 5, 2014): http://bit.ly/1g35mDg. Analyses the Indian law in the Copyright Act and the Information Technology Act.

# Participation in Events

  • 2nd International Conference on Managing Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy (MIPS 2014) (organized by Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay with support from the Ministry of Human Resources Development IPR Chair Project, Government of India): http://bit.ly/PsPEbq.
  • Consultation on Institutional Arrangements for IP management under MHRD (organized by the Planning Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, February 21, 2014). Nehaa Chaudhari participated in this consultation: http://bit.ly/1fTCoar.
  • National Conference on Use of Technology in Higher Education (organized by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and Planning Commission in partnership with Microsoft Research and British Council, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, February 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/P6u78i. Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the event as a panelist in the session on "Future of Content Creation".

# Media Coverage

  • Pranesh Prakash: Influencing India's IP Laws (by Samar Srivastava, Forbes India, February 15, 2014): http://bit.ly/1kBzLMq.

The following has been done under grant from the Wikimedia Foundation (http://bit.ly/SPqFOl). As part this project (http://bit.ly/X80ELd), we organised 4 workshops in the month of January, published an article in DNA, and signed a memorandum of understanding with KIIT University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to further the development of Odia Wikipedia:


# Articles / Blog Entries

  • Odia Language's Presence in Digital Media and Wikipedia's Role (by Subhashish Panigrahi, The Samaja, March 2, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ieF3sC.
  • Indian Wikimedia community coordinates Women’s History Month (by Netha Hussain and Jeph Paul, Wikimedia Foundation, March 6, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cyRfqf,

# Events Co-organized

  • Cinemathon2014 Bangalore (organized by Pad.ma and CIS-A2K, CIS, Bangalore, February 8-9, 2014): http://bit.ly/MRRkZz.
  • Tewiki 10th Anniversary (organized by CIS-A2K and Telugu Wikipedia community, February 15, 2014): http://bit.ly/1iI2Pxs. T. Vishnu Vardhan and Rahmanuddin Shaikh were speakers at the event.
  • Cinemathon2014 Mumbai (organized by Pad.ma and CIS-A2K, CAMP Studio, Mumbai, February 15-16, 2014): http://bit.ly/P5YGL8.
  • Wikipedia Mangalore Workshop (organized by Roshini Nilaya and CIS-A2K, Mangalore, February 26, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja gave a presentation on Wikipedia with a special focus on students and women.

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

# Media Coverage

  • Father-son duo promote Punjabi online (by Jatinder Preet, Sunday Guardian, February 1, 2014): http://bit.ly/1l87b2h.
  • ୧୦ ବର୍ଷରେ ଓଡ଼ିଆ ୱିକିପିଡିଆ (Rabibara Sambad (Sunday supplement of Odia newspaper The Sambad), February 9, 2014): http://bit.ly/1igMynn. This is a feature about Odia Wikipedia's 10th anniversary and the story of a dead volunteer community reviving after 8 years.
  • Wikipedia Mangalore Workshop (Prajavani, February 27, 2014): http://bit.ly/1gVMG6f.

# Participation in Event

  • The Dynamics of Education to Employment Journey: Opportunities and Challenges (organized by KIIT School of Management, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, February 21-22, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan gave a talk: http://bit.ly/1ePwqHc.

Event Organized

  • Wiki Women's Workshop (ICG – Dona Paula, Goa, March 9, 2014): http://bit.ly/MRRJLy. The event is being organized as part of the commemoration of the International Women's Day.


# Event Organised

Internet Governance
CIS is doing a project (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) on conducting research on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). So far we have organised seven privacy round-tables and drafted the Privacy (Protection) Bill. Gautam Bhatia gives an analysis of the right to privacy from a constitutional perspective. Bhairav Acharya prepared an updated version of the Privacy Protection Bill which was published for comments.

# Call for Comments

  • The Privacy Protection Bill, 2013 (by Bhairav Acharya, February 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1g3TwIX. CIS announced an Open Call for Comments to the latest version of the bill.

# Articles

  • The Internet Way (by Nishant Shah, Biblio Vol. 19 No.8 (1&2), January – February 2014): http://bit.ly/1kBp9gJ. Dr. Nishant Shah's review of the book “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Bantam Press/Random House Group, London can be found on page 16.
  • Surveillance and the Indian Constitution - Part 3: The Public/Private Distinction and the Supreme Court’s Wrong Turn (by Gautam Bhatia, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy Blog, February 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1kBosnw. This was originally published on Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy Blog.
  • Big Democracy, Big Surveillance: India's Surveillance State (by Maria Xynou, Open Democracy, February 28, 2014): http://bit.ly/1nkg8Ho.
  • Will You be Paid to Post a Picture? (by Nishant Shah, Indian Express, February 18, 2014): http://bit.ly/P65d8L.

# Blog Entries

  • February 11: The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance (by Divij Joshi, February 14, 2014): http://bit.ly/1e7drCV.
  • Calcutta High Court Strengthens Whistle Blower Protection (by Divij Joshi, February 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cG8v7t.
  • CIS Welcomes 52nd Report on Cyber Crime, Cyber Security, and Right to Privacy (by Elonnai Hickok, February 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/1oviMJ4.
  • UIDAI Practices and the Information Technology Act, Section 43A and Subsequent Rules (by Elonnai Hickok, February 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fbSfep.

# Events Organized

  • Nullcon Goa Feb 2014 — International Security Conference (organised by Nullcon, Bogmallo Beach Resort, Goa, February 12 – 15, 2014). CIS is one of the sponsors for this event: http://bit.ly/1lrBu5I.
  • Counter Surveillance Panel: DiscoTech & Hackathon (co-organized by CIS, MIT Centre for Civic Media Co-Design Lab, Tactical Technology Collective, Hackteria.org, and Shristi School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, March 1, 2014): http://bit.ly/NCGMyH

# Participation in Events

  • First Meeting of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group for India Internet Governance Forum (organized by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, New Delhi, February 10, 2014). Sunil Abraham participated in this meeting: http://bit.ly/1fKu5xz.
  • Internet Intermediary Liability: Towards Evidence-based Policy and Regulatory Reform to Secure Human Rights on the internet (organized by Association for Progressive Communications, The Wedgewood, Melville, Johannesburg, February 10-11, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fMAEK2. Elonnai Hickok was a speaker.
  • Towards an Equitable and Just Internet (organized by IT for Change, New Delhi, February 14-15, 2014). Bhairav Acharya was a speaker: http://bit.ly/1cz9EDt.
  • Workshop on Media Law & Policy Curriculum Development (organized by the Centre for Communication Governance, National Law University, Delhi and University of Oxford in support with the International Higher Education-Knowledge Economy Partnerships Programme of the British Council, February 16, 2014, National Law University, Delhi): http://bit.ly/1ovoT00. Bhairav Acharya was a speaker.
  • The Changing Role of the Media in India: Constitutional Perspectives (organized by School of Law, Christ University, February 28, 2014): http://bit.ly/1lB2nTO. Snehashish Ghosh moderated a session at this conference.

News & Media Coverage
CIS gave its inputs to the following recent media coverage:

  • The Dangers of Birdsong (by Namrata Joshi, Outlook, January 25, 2014): http://bit.ly/1kB8J7L.
  • A Tale of Two Internet Campaigns (by Deepa Kurup, The Hindu, February 11, 2014): http://bit.ly/1lDdRZy.
  • Dark days for the creative class in India: Siddiqui (by Haroon Siddiqui, thestar.com, February 16, 2014): http://bit.ly/1gdtgbC.
  • The Forbes India 30 Under 30 List (by Abhilasha Khaitan, Forbes India, February 21, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ovnvKM. Pranesh Prakash features in the list.
  • India ‘tea parties’ enable politicians to woo urban youth with technology (by Avantika Chilkoti, Financial Times, February 26, 2014): http://bit.ly/1cGfOMm.

Digital Humanities
CIS is building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. The Digital will be used as a way of unpacking the debates in humanities and social sciences and look at the new frameworks, concepts and ideas that emerge in our engagement with the digital. The clusters aim to produce and document new conversations and debates that shape the contours of Digital Humanities in Asia:

# Blog Entries

  • Defending the Humanities in the Digital Age (by Nishant Shah, DML Central, February 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/1czdZqg.
  • Digital Humanities in India- Mapping Changes at the Intersection of Youth, Technology and Higher Education (by Sneha PP, February 21, 2014): http://bit.ly/1qd6xo4.

Digital Natives
CIS is doing a research project titled “Making Change”. The project will explore new ways of defining, locating, and understanding change in network societies. Having the thought piece 'Whose Change is it Anyway' as an entry point for discussion and reflection, the project will feature profiles, interviews and responses of change-makers to questions around current mechanisms and practices of change in South Asia and South East Asia:

►Making Change Project

# Blog Entries

  • Storytelling as Performance: The Ugly Indian and Blank Noise 1 (by Denisse Albornoz, February 24, 2014): http://bit.ly/1jX4qBb.
  • Storytelling as Performance: The Ugly Indian and Blank Noise 2 (by Denisse Albornoz, February 27, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fKwQil.

Shyam Ponappa, a Distinguished Fellow at CIS is a regular columnist with the Business Standard. The articles published on his blog Organizing India Blogspot is mirrored on our website:

# Newspaper Column

  • Centre- or State-Driven Development? (by Shyam Ponappa, Business Standard, February 5, 2014, Observer India Blogspot, February 7, 2014): http://bit.ly/1ceuWFS.

# Blog Entry

Knowledge Repository on Internet Access
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project to create a knowledge repository on Internet and society. This repository will comprise content targeted primarily at civil society with a view to enabling their informed participation in the Indian Internet and ICT policy space. The repository is available at the Internet Institute website: http://bit.ly/1iQT2UB.

►Event Organized

  • Institute on Internet and Society (organised by Ford Foundation and CIS, Yashada, Pune, February 11-17, 2014): http://bit.ly/1fpTdDS. Bishakha Datta, Ravikiran Annaswamy, Kingsley John, Prof. G. Nagarjuna, Nisha Thompson, Prashant Naik, Nehaa Chaudhari, Bhairav Acharya, Manu Srivastav, Dr. Abhijeet Safai, Payal Malik, Nishant Shah, Laura Stein, Sunil Abraham, Madan Muthu and Chinmayi Arun taught at the institute.

About CIS
The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.

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► Support Us

Please help us defend consumer / citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of ‘The Centre for Internet and Society’ and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd ‘C’ Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru – 5600 71.

► Request for Collaboration:

We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at [email protected].

CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, IDRC and the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.